A major global studio based in South Korea, known in the west for games like WildStar, Guild Wars 2, and Aion, among many others.

The MOP Up: Enter the Phantom Halls — if you dare! (March 18, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from Mu IgnitionLineage 2 RevolutionRevelation OnlineEarthfallLegacy of AtlantisDC UnchainedSoul ArkBattle CarnivalWorld of WarcraftOld School RuneScapeAionWar ThunderArtifactPokemon GoThe Black DeathAstroneerEVE OnlinePhantom HallsMU Online, and Heroes of Newerth, all waiting for you after the break!

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The Daily Grind: Have you ever won anything amazing in a lockbox?

With all of the discussion and controversy over MMO lockboxes as of late (you might have seen something), one thing we haven’t talked about much is the actual prizes inside of them. It’s pretty common knowledge that most of the time, you’re going to get really cruddy and disposable rewards (but you’ll be haunted by the possibility of something better, which keeps you coming back).

But, hey, there are always those rare times that you pull out a golden goose rather than a garden variety sparrow from the hat. Have you ever won anything amazing in a lockbox? I can’t recall too many times that this has happened to me, as I only open boxes when I’m given free keys. I did once get a reusable makeup kit from Guild Wars 2 that was pretty handy, and Secret World Legends did toss some 80s-era roller skates my way as a funky “mount.”

What about you?

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Guild Wars 2: The first forum chat covers boss difficulty, instance chaining, and season rewards

ArenaNet is trying something new for Guild Wars 2 this season: In addition to its episodic AMAs on Reddit, it’s opened up a temporary Q&A forum on the new content. It’s certainly a lot easier to read and find replies! Most of the topics since yesterday revolve around lore, and as I’m trying to avoid spoilers myself, I won’t subject you to them, but there are some more general ones that aren’t just AMA repeats that I can draw your attention to.

  • Players didn’t make much headway with ArenaNet in the ongoing complaints about the difficulty of the solo story bosses.
  • Planning for this episode began in November of 2016, to give you an idea of how long these things percolate.
  • The studio agrees some of the instance chaining in this episode goes on for too long. (It was done for story purposes.)
  • Will the personal story ever be developed again? “It’s something we consider often,” Jessica Price says, but it’s probably not happening, given the number of races, personalities, and backgrounds would need to be taken into account (1800 combos before personal story choices).

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Blade & Soul’s newest raid pits you against a sacred dragon

It’s probably not the most encouraging of signs when a trailer for an MMO’s newest raid mostly features player characters lying down following a wipe. But then again, what do you expect when your party is going toe-to-toe with a very sacred, very powerful dragon?

Welcome to Koldrak’s Lair, the latest 12-player raid coming to Blade & Soul. Level 55 characters can form teams and queue up for the raid at certain times during the day. It’s here they’ll fight the titular Koldrak, a flame dragon that has since succumbed to Dark Chi. The fight is time-limited to 50 minutes each, with the opportunity to down this boss five times each day.

It won’t be easy, as chunks of ice will be falling and Koldrak will try to sweep players off into lava with his tail. Successful fights will pay off in a variety of powerful treasure, depending on a player’s damage contribution (there are no dedicated tanks or healers in this game). There’s also a daily quest that rewards players with XP and the new dragon scale currency.

Koldrak’s Lair is coming with the Fire and Blood update on March 21st.

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Perfect Ten: MMO missteps that didn’t have to happen

Around the time I started working at Massively-that-was, there was an article that I quite liked talking about how four high-profile MMO failures were not necessary. It was a product of its time, but the point was made that these games didn’t have to wind up in the state they were in. The mistakes that were made were not unexpected problems, but entirely predictable ones that anyone could have seen. Heck, some people did see them and pointed them out, but nothing was changed.

I think about that a lot when I think about other MMOs and online games because there are a lot of titles that, even if not entirely failed, are in states they never needed to be in. These stories are, at the very least, stories of some failures where the failure was not an inevitable end state, nor are they messes that had to be made. The writing was on the wall, the warnings were given, and someone just kept on keeping on and ignored all of the signs. And here we are.

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Blade & Soul’s Fire & Blood update is making hardmode dungeons worth your while

So what’s in Blade & Soul’s Fire & Blood patch next week, other than way too many ampersands that our CMS can’t properly parse? Oh nothing much, just a crapton of new dungeons and an overhaul of hard mode. In its preview piece today, NCsoft details all that and more.

For starters, hard mode is getting a lot more lucrative. “We’ve received pretty consistent feedback from players feeling they could use a boost to account for the added challenge,” says the company. It’s added much more high-end loot to multiple hard-difficulty dungeons, some tradeable and some not. A few easier dungeons will become normal dungeons too, mind you, as NCsoft argues they’re “a little long in the tooth,” but they will keep their hard-mode rewards for normal mode, so that’s pretty nice for casuals.

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Massively OP Podcast Episode 161: Project power

On this week’s show, Bree and Justin roll up their sleeves and take on projects left and right. It’s a look at the announcement of Project C and the imminent early access launch of Project Gorgon, among many other exciting developments this week!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

Listen to the show right now:

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Here’s how Netmarble’s fighting crunch after multiple developer deaths

Last year, Netmarble came under fire from South Korean authorities following the death of a game developer under its banner. Korea Workers’ Compensation and Welfare Service noted at the time that the game studio employee “died from a work-related cause” brought on by “irregular night-time work and excess duty in the 12 weeks” when he passed away from heart disease – in his 20s. Excess duty was described in this case as 89 hours a week for almost two months. And he was apparently not the only Netmarble employee to drop dead that year; compensation filings noted two more deaths in 2016.

By summer of last year, additional South Korean agencies, including the jusice department and labor divisions, began pressuring Netmarble to clean up how it handles overtime and overtime pay. And most recently, according to MMO Culture, the company has devised a plan of its own to limit overworking.

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Guild Chat Special Edition: Interviewing Guild Wars 2 guild POOF

Welcome along to Guild Chat, the column through which we examine all things guild-related and solve problems faced by fellow members of the Massively Overpowered community. This edition is rather different, however: I had the opportunity to interview the key players in a Guild Wars 2 guild named POOF that featured in ArenaNet’s Friend/Ships campaign, which you may have read a little bit about in Flameseeker Chronicles. Friendships have been at the forefront of ArenaNet‘s minds for the last month or so and POOF’s guild story is one that was featured within the campaign (the video is below for those who haven’t seen it). I asked them about how they organise their guild, what makes POOF so special, and how they support their members, and I’m delighted to share their insights with you in a special edition of Guild Chat.

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Guild Wars 1 programmer answers fan questions, affirms the game’s continued existence

Do you have any burning questions about Guild Wars? No, not Guild Wars 2 — the original, the one that has long fallen out of the public eye? ArenaNet Studio Tech Director Stephen Clarke-Willson, who goes by SCW on the forums, posted an open AMA on Reddit for those still curious about the old game.

And before you ask, no, the studio isn’t going to be making any content changes to this maintenance mode title. “It’s hard work just to get the art tools up and running, so making content changes are pretty unlikely,” he told one player. There are also no plans for an HD version.

He does go into a lot of the details of the server structure, the creation of the technology behind the game, and how ArenaNet streamlined the title to make it accessible and low cost.

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The MOP Up: Dragonball Online kicks off beta testing (March 11, 2018)

The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!

Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from FlyffRecord of Lodoss WarOld School RuneScapeLineage 2 RevolutionCorum OnlineZombie BarricadesFinal Fantasy XIMU OnlineRagnarok OnlinePokebel OnlinePath of ExileProsperous UniverseWakfuDragonball Online Global, all waiting for you after the break!

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One Shots: The Soviet Summoner

Undoubtedly, our world is poorer in this post-City of Heroes era for the lack of pun-inspired superhero names that used to run, fly, and jump rampant through this game. Maybe NCsoft realized that the world as a whole was about to hit a pun shortage and pulled the plug on CoH before it could drain us of that precious resource.

In any case, BigAngry submitted this museum-quality screenshot as a reminder of the days when the name could make or break a hero: “In the waning days before the fall of City of Heroes, I took video of all my characters using their powers, so I took a screencap of the video of Soviet Summoner, who was a Demon Summoning/Trick Arrow Mastermind. Her demons, IIRC, were named after Russian cities, with the big demon named Chernobyl, of course! God I miss that game.”

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Perfect Ten: A dozen MOBAs that didn’t make it

With the insane success — both in terms of popularity and finances — that Dota and League of Legends spawned, you can easily understand why game studios latched onto the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) as a relatively quick cash grab. After all, with players providing the ongoing content (through PvP matches), developers were freed up to focus on balance tweaks and churning out new skins and characters to sell.

In a relatively short span of time, the market became flooded with many imitators that sought to grab that slice of the profitable pie. And while some, such as Hi-Rez’s SMITE, have endured, many games discovered the one key danger with this approach: If you could not generate and sustain a large, active playerbase, you were as good as dead. A critical mass was needed, and when it was not achieved, games started folding up left and right.

In today’s Perfect Ten, we’re going to look at a dozen MOBAs that tried and failed to make it. Perhaps they serve as cautionary lessons to other studios seeking to mimic League of Legends’ format, but we somehow doubt that the era of the MOBA is over just yet.

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